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Public Servants Judge American Legion High School Oratorical Contest; Close Contest Chooses Two Lake County Winners to Compete at the Statewide Competition.

John Barbini, Principal Grant High School, State Representative Nancy Cole, 1st Place Winner John Brown, Patricia Fix, Chief Felony Trial Division of Lake County States Attorney’s Office and Lake County 2nd Sub-Circuit Judicial Candidate, 2nd place winner Alex Mazza and Associate Judge Nancy Waites and Lake County 3rd Sub-Circuit Judicial Candidate at the conclusion of the American Legion High School Oratorical Contest.

John Barbini, Principal Grant High School, State Representative Nancy Cole, 1st Place Winner John Brown, Patricia Fix, Chief Felony Trial Division of Lake County States Attorney’s Office and Lake County 2nd Sub-Circuit Judicial Candidate, 2nd place winner Alex Mazza and Associate Judge Nancy Waites and Lake County 3rd Sub-Circuit Judicial Candidate at the conclusion of the American Legion High School Oratorical Contest.

On Saturday January 7, 2012 Grayslake Central High School was the venue for the Lake County portion of the American Legion’s High School National Oratorical Contest. Part of a national competition, top winners at the national level can receive up to $18,000 in scholarship money. The contest is a tradition that dates back to 1938. By participating, Lake County High School Students develop a deeper knowledge of the Constitution of the United States as they speak on various topics under the theme of “Americanism” in front of an audience of American Legion members.

The judges; Patricia Fix, Chief of the Felony Trial Division of the Lake County State’s Attorneys Office (judicial candidate for the 2nd Judicial Sub-Circuit), John Barbini, Principal of Grant Community High School, Sandy Cole, 62nd District State Representative (running for re-election) and Lake County Associate Judge Nancy Waites, (judicial candidate for the 3rd Judicial Sub-Circuit) scored a closely balanced competition. Contestants were rated on constitutional knowledge and oratorical skills.

The 1st place winner was John Brown, of Grayslake Central High School. He will advance to the State Finals on March 3rd in Peoria. 2nd place winner, Alex Mazza, also of Grayslake Central High School, advances to the semifinal state round. If successful, both students are eligible to compete in the National Competition in Indianapolis against 49 other state winners. The top three winners at the National level receive scholarships of $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000 respectively.

For the first presentation each contestant chose a phrase from the U.S. Constitution that gave emphasis to the duties and obligations of a citizen for a prepared oration. Each contestant was then required, with five minutes’ notice, to deliver an extemporaneous speech on the randomly drawn topic of the 14th amendment.

To track our local winners as they move up in the competition or for more information about next year’s competition visit: www.IlLEGION.org.

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